UTSA ranks second among Hispanic Serving, Carnegie R1 universities for diverse faculty | UTSA Today | UTSA

“Faculty success is at the core of student success and great research,” he said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As a respected Hispanic Serving Institution, UTSA is committed to hiring and retaining diverse faculty who serve as mentors and models for success for our students. Different backgrounds bring new perspectives that drive scientific innovation and research impact. As such, hiring outstanding, diverse faculty remains a key element of UTSA’s strategic initiatives.”

As a result of their intentional efforts, UTSA’s faculty is more diverse than many comparable institutions. For comparison, UTSA ranks second among the nearly 20 institutions labeled as both Carnegie R1 and Hispanic Serving Institutions for the percentage of all tenured/tenure-track (T/TT) faculty that are identify as Hispanic/Latino (18%). Only the University of Texas at El Paso is higher (29%).

In Fall 2021, UTSA welcomed its most diverse cohort of tenure track and non-tenure track teachers. Among these new T/TT faculty joining the university for the 2021-2022 academic year, 33% identify as Hispanic or Black. Specifically, the percentage of new T/TT faculty identifying as Hispanic increased from 14% just three years earlier to 30% in 2021.

“To make progress toward our overall goal, we must be intentional and intentional in our recruitment and hiring with each new faculty cohort,” said Espy. “We will continue to move the needle by recruiting and hiring talented individuals who will bring new perspectives to our campus and move us closer to becoming a university that reflects the future of our students, our city and our nation.”

Broaden perspectives through strategic recruitment of teachers

UTSA Academic Affairs launched its Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative in early 2019. The initiative included programs such as the Accelerating Faculty Diversity Hiring Program and others that focus on hiring promising, accomplished, and diverse faculty in key areas.

Nationwide recognized STEM educational scientist Araceli Martinez-Ortiz was recruited to UTSA through the initiative’s Clustered and Connected program. Martinez Ortiz, holder of the Microsoft President’s Endowed Professorship, has been hired to build a new engineering education program designed to educate the next generation of engineering educators with diverse experiences and backgrounds that reflect our region.

“I’m very proud to be with UTSA at this exciting time,” said Martinez Ortiz. “I feel valued for my technical expertise as an engineer and professor of engineering education and for my unique perspective. It is a great privilege to find an organization whose mission aligns with my own. I have had nothing but encouragement and support from the university leadership as I work each day to implement my research agenda, which aims to discover approaches that inspire and prepare students from a variety of backgrounds and cultural experiences to work in engineering, design and… to be successful in other STEM careers.”

Another hiring program is the Provost’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows to Faculty Program, a two-year developmental program designed to prepare participants for faculty positions at UTSA (or elsewhere), particularly in areas with fewer women or members of underrepresented minorities.

Additionally, the Office of the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence established the Stealth Recruitment Portal, which allows UTSA faculty to play a role in the recruitment process by recommending potential faculty candidates. Through the portal website, prospective faculty candidates can discreetly share their cover letter, resume or resume with the appropriate dean or department head.

“Innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving are greatly enhanced in a diverse and inclusive academic community,” said Espy. “These diverse programs serve to create a multi-pronged approach to developing, recruiting and hiring faculty who are underutilized in the academy and reflect the diversity of our student body and communities.”

In 2019-2020, UTSA introduced new transformational practices related to faculty recruitment and hiring. For example, all members of the faculty search committee at UTSA attend inclusive search training. In addition, the university has implemented strategies to create fairness in the search process, diversify the pool of applicants, advertise all positions in different publications, use inclusive language in job descriptions, and offer competitive packages.

The university also ensures that faculty candidates have the opportunity to meet with affinity groups or the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence to build connections and a sense of belonging from the very beginning of their experience as a UTSA faculty.

In addition, each faculty candidate at UTSA will be asked to complete a research and teaching statement discussing the role of diversity and inclusion in an academic setting. During interviews, all candidates are asked to describe what qualifications and experience have prepared them to foster an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome and valued.

“All of these practices help create an environment where a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion is valued and important,” he said Heather ShipleySenior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of University College.

Promoting faculty success at UTSA

According to Shipley, while the university works diligently to hire various faculty, it’s just as important to orientate and retain them. This begins with a robust onboarding experience: all new full-time faculty attend a new faculty academy, brave beings at Roadrunner Nation, The aim is to provide a sense of belonging to the place where they have chosen their career and to effectively launch their teaching and research activities.

Academic Affairs and the academic colleges have worked together to establish retention practices, including revising the policies that guide tenure and promotion to include language that underscores academic activities that support the university’s role as an HSI, enhancing the scholarship values ​​that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Colleges have also been proactive in identifying salary adjustments needed and offering retention packages where possible; If faculty chooses a position at another university, extensive exit interviews provide data to continuously improve these practices.

Academic Innovation, an academic support department, facilitates or creates a variety of development programs—often free and with financial incentives—to help teachers learn and apply new teaching methods and technologies. These programs and institutes, like the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Inclusive Teaching & Equitable Learning Course, provide year-round opportunities for educators to acquire new skills and network with their peers outside of their departments and colleges.

Additionally, UTSA has expanded and strengthened its mentoring opportunities to foster community and belonging among faculty. Led by the Faculty Success academic support department, faculty at all stages of their careers can now take advantage of a variety of programs and resources Faculty Mentoring Hub – from faculty mentoring in the early career department, mid-career mentoring, peer mentoring teams and mentoring meetings to mentor training and access to the resources granted to institutional members of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.

Specifically, in Fall 2020, the Faculty Success Team partnered with Inclusive Excellence to launch the Tenure Track Network Club, a mentoring group designed to provide young minority faculty with the intellectual and structural tools to improve their ability to seek employment to acquire.

“Individual faculties should have a prism of mentors – within their own disciplines and across the university – to support their research, teaching, ministry, leadership development and personal growth,” she said norm warUTSA Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion.

Academic Affairs is an evolution of traditional mentoring and is what created it Next Generation Faculty Leadership Fellow Program in Fall 2019 to provide an intensive training and development experience to advance diverse faculty leaders. Nationally, UTSA sponsors the participation of faculty members in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Academy.a year-long program to prepare the next generation of culturally diverse leaders for leadership and leadership roles in higher education.

As an HSI, UTSA plays a prominent role in the successful attainment of a degree by Hispanic students. This is especially true for graduate programs – particularly at doctoral level – to increase the diversity of the national faculty. For example, 47% of Ph.D. Graduates identify as Hispanic or Black.

Transfer of the knowledge gained and best practices to partner institutions

In addition to its initiatives UTSA has joined efforts to address diversity in science at the national level. In 2019, UTSA was one of only 15 public research universities selected to join the founding cohort of the Aspire Alliance.

Led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alliance works to better serve underrepresented STEM students and faculty by identifying best practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining faculty and scaled.

The program has now grown to include more than 125 partner universities and colleges. Four UTSA faculty members have participated in the Alliance’s IAspire Leadership Academy, which aims to prepare STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds for leadership roles in higher education.

While the Aspire Alliance is focused on cultivating inclusive teaching practices and faculty diversification, the ultimate goal is to attract, retain, and help underrepresented students graduate into STEM programs and into a modern STEM -workforce to be successful.

Leave a Comment